A Concise Biography of the Successive Incarnations
of Nangchen Thraril Chojor Rinpoche
The first incarnation was that of Jetsun Ngawang Chojor
Rinpoche, the Lord of Siddhas. He was born in the Nangchen district
of eastern Tibet in the earth rabbit year of the fourteenth rabjung,
the year 1842, as the son of Bé Urgyen Wangchuk. At an early
age he entered into Nangchen Tsechu
Monastery and studied in their entirety the profound teachings on
the Six Yogas of Naropa and other teachings from the master Drubwang
that he received complete instruction from the Gyalwang Karmapa, Thegchog
Then, in accordance with the Karmapa's advice, he traveled to study
under Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
and Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye. By
listening and reflecting as much as he could, he attained mastery over
exposition, debate, and composition as well as gaining realization of
the two stages of development and completion. Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
declared that Jetsun Ngawang Chojor was a reincarnation of Rigdzin Jatson
Nyingpo. Ngawang Chojor then received, among other teachings, the empowerments
for the Jatson Nyingpo cycle from the lord himself. The two lineage
masters also authorized him as a master to teach and guide beings.
The great siddha Chowang Rinpoche told him, "when I come to see
you, I don’t see you as an ordinary man, only as Chenrezig, so
you must be an emanation of Chenrezig!'" Additionally, many great
noble beings said he was an incarnation of Lord Milarepa, the siddha
Lingje Repa and other masters. For that reason, in the remote Shelri
Lhunpo hermitage he had innumerable visions of White Tara, Hayagriva,
and other sublime deities. There were countless wondrous signs, such
as leaving his footprint in stone. His benevolent works for the sake
of others pervaded the ten directions. He constructed many new monasteries,
among which was Pal Thraril Tengye Ling. His activity having encompassed
all of Dokham, in the water dog year, 1922, at the age of eighty, his
mind dissolved into the intrinsic nature with many amazing signs.
The second Chojor incarnation was Trinley Rabjam. Like his previous
incarnation, his enlightened activity was extraordinary. During the
unstable times, "Because samsara is without essence,” he
told his disciples, “my activity is temporarily completed and
I shall be leaving for another realm.” At the age of thirty-two,
even without his health having deteriorated, he passed away with wondrous
The third Chojor incarnation is Ngawang Jigdrel Chokyi Gyamtso Rinpoche.
He was born in the Nangchen district of Kham amidst amazing signs on
the tenth day of the fifth month of the iron male dog year, 1970. His
father was Konchog Jigme and his mother was Pema Tharcho. From the age
of nine he perfected his studies of spelling, writing and reading. At
the age of eleven, he went on pilgrimage in both Tibet and Nepal, where
he received from Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche the vows of refuge. Following
that, having returned to Nangchen, he began his religious life at Lhalam
Monastery. Then, at the age of seventeen, he entered the retreat center
at Lachab Monastery where
he engaged in practice for three years and three months. Subsequently,
at Lhalam Monastery, he took up the responsibility of retreat master
and for about six years practiced as much as he could.
The Replies to the requests of Khatsatrapa Rinpoche states,
In your previous life, you were known as Dharmabhuti,
Endowed with spiritual fortune, your homeland was the region of Chel.
Whatever quality was spoken of, his was the most eminent.
Additionally, you possessed the fortune of benefiting all.
The supreme deity, Guru Padmakara
The yidam deity, Vajrakumara
Through the force of the accomplishments of your past life
Accompany you unceasingly, like a shadow
In the aspects of dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya.
Whoever meets you will be led to the Lotus Light pure land.
Following the liberation of the previous incarnation,
the reincarnation of Thraril Chojor Rinpoche was sought. At that time,
Khyabje Trulshik Rinpoche, the Great Refuge and Protector, the Dalai
Lama, and the glorious Gyalwang Karmapa, unanimously and unerringly
perceived with their stainless wisdom that the prophesied boy would
be known by the signs of being born in the Iron Dog year, a two day
horse ride to the northwest of the monastery. He would be born as the
son of a father with the name Könchok and a mother by the name
of Pema. In accordance with this, the supreme emanation was found with
certainty, free of all doubt. He was given the name Ngawang Jigdral
Chokyi Gyatso, in order to accomplish great benefit for the teachings
and beings for many years.
In 1997, he arrived in Nepal, and for a few years acted as the tutor
for the young incarnation of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Following that,
he attended Thrangu Rinpoche's monastic college where he studied and
reflected deeply on treatises of sutra and tantra. While in residence
there, he capably performed his duty as an assistant instructor. From
Thrangu Rinpoche, Jamgön Tai Situ, the Great Lord of Refuge Nangchen
Adeu, Khenchen Tsültrim Gyatso, Ngaktrin
Tulku and many other eminent masters he received empowerment, guidance
and pith instruction of the [traditions] of the old and new schools,
and has crossed to the far shore of the ocean of study and reflection.
His life is one of ever increasing exposition, accomplishment and activity.
This concise biography, gathered from authentic sources, was written
down at Tarpa Lagoon by the one named Nyima Tulku. May it be virtuous.
Translated by Ryan Damron with Erik Pema Kunsang, Boudhanath, 2004.